The Tone 7 Samohlasen Melody

This is the common melody for singing stichera in tone 7. It consists of two parts, one for the psalm verse and one for the sticheron itself

Please note: This article assumes that you are familiar with the material taught in an MCI Online course, Introduction to Church Singing. If you have difficulty reading the music notation, please review the MCI website articles on musicianship.

A Sunday sticheron in Tone 7

At Vespers on Saturday evening, while the church is incensed and the lamps are lit, we sing a number of hymns called stichera in honor of the Resurrection; these are inserted after the last few verses of Psalms 179 and 116, and are sung in the Tone of the Week.

Here is the first sticheron in Tone 7:


This is the samohlasen sticheron melody in Tone 7. It is used for singing any sticheron in Tone 7 that is not marked with a special melody (podoben)

The sticheron melody

The melody consists of two repeating phrases (A and B) and a final phrase (F).

The A phrase:

is followed by a B phrase

If the B phrase begins with an accent, the intonation can be entirely omitted:

After either the A or B phrase, we can go to the final (F) phrase, which is sung as follows:

Notice that the F phrase is long enough that it usually has no need for a reciting tone (several words on one syllable). Instead, there is a slightly simpler form of the F melody that is used when the final phrase is short:

The verse melody

Here is the samohlasen verse melody in Tone 7. Be careful: although it is tempting to start on do, the key signature (D) actually means we start on mi.

Here are two examples, from the Lamplighting Psalms of Vespers:


Going from the verse melody to the sticheron is easy: the verse ends do - re - mi, and the sticheron begins on fa.

Putting the two parts together - the Sunday dogmatikon in Tone 7

The last sticheron at the Lamplighting Psalms on an ordinary Saturday evening is called a dogmatikon, because it highlights the dogma or teaching of the Incarnation. Here is the tone 7 dogmatikon, set to the Tone 7 samohlasen melody. The verse is given, followed by the sticheron. Notice how each phrase flows into the next, and how the different text phrases change the way each phrases adapt to different F phrases are used.



Learning the melody

To learn the melody, practice singing the material on the examples page.